METAIRIE, La. - With 'ObamaCare' enrollment beginning in less than a month, people and business owners are still confused about how to follow the law.
So they are working fast to get ready.
"ObamaCare is now longer than the Bible. It's longer than the tax code," said Ronnell Nolan, President and CEO of Health Agents for America. She was speaking at West Jefferson Medical Center to a group of business owners.
It was a chance for businesses to learn about ObamaCare changes from experts.
"You have to have a special room for your women to express their milk. So doesn't matter how big your company is. It can't be the bathroom, can't be the file room, can't have windows," Nolan explained of one of the hundreds of changes.
The Jefferson Parish Chamber organized the seminar to make sure business owners are prepared.
"The feds are requiring employers, regardless of your size, to send a DOL, Department of Labor notice to your employees, part time or full time, whether you offer coverage or you don't offer coverage, by October 1," Nolan said.
Experts also helped people understand who is paying for what.
"There's nothing affordable about this law. Everybody will have access. Everybody will be able to get coverage without answering any health questions," explained Nolan who put up on the screen a few pages listing new costs. "There's a lot of taxes. Taxes and more taxes and more taxes."
One expert explained that companies will be able to charge some employees such as smokers, a much higher premium than non smokers.
"Most employers have been subsidizing employees' bad behavior for decades. We've been protecting them from the financial consequence of that. Well the world is changing and individual accountability is the rule of the day now," said Denny Ebersole, a producer at AON Hewitt which consults on health and benefits.
Louisiana Health Cooperative, a new non-profit health plan for people and small businesses, explained that here in Louisiana, even though it's less than a month away, we still don't know which groups or companies will be available with the new plans.
Business owners have a lot of homework to do.
"It is just so overwhelming that 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there, is just not enough to try to figure out what's going on," said Jim Blazek, co-owner of Leaaf Environmental, LLC.
The Jefferson Chamber's next free meeting explaining the new health care changes will be Wednesday, September 18, at East Jefferson General Hospital from 8am to 9:30am. Registration begins at 7:30am.
If you sign up for www.healthcare.gov you will get text messages, e-mail messages of what the federal government is doing. Changes are still happening constantly.